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Durian without the ‘umay’

Durian – that thorny fruit long described as something that “smells like hell but tastes like heaven” – remains very divisive. That is, you either hate it or you like (even love) it. That it is pungent is a given (Heck, hotels bar its guests from bringing durian inside their premises solely because of the smell!); but that it is also exotically tasteful explains why so many adore the fruit. 

A little known fact (particularly for those outside durian-eating areas) is that there is a “solution” to the “hate the smell, like the taste” issue. And that’s Cecil’s durian roll.

To start, particularly if you’re from Davao, you’d be familiar with Cecil’s. It’s that eatery cum pastry place cum events venue that’s been there for what seems like forever. Rumor has it that the owners had some issues; but – truth be told – that’s theirs to resolve. For us diners, the biggest concern is basically whether the food remains as good as before.

This, then, leads to the durian roll, a seasonal offering of Cecil’s that remain – in one word – yummy.

To start, it’s really just a local version of the roll cake, though this one has durian filling.

As roll cakes go, this is – thankfully – soft/fluffy.

And the durian filling (add the durian coating) is just enough to make you taste its durian-ness, and not overwhelm the palate. So you get over that “umay” (that sense of having had enough of something, including of food) and actually be able to enjoy the durian (or at least the durian flavor).

Selling for P45 per slice, this doesn’t cost much to satisfy that durian craving OR give durian another go (for those who still hate it). Try with brewed coffee.

There are Cecil’s branches at:

  • 198 Anda Street, 3-A Poblacion, Davao City, Davao del Sur
  • Gaisano Mall, Davao City
  • Iñigo St, Poblacion District, Davao City, Davao del Sur
  • Centerpoint Plaza, Matina Pangi Road, Matina, Davao City, 8000 Davao del Sur
  • Davao City Damosa Gateway, Mamay Road, Lanang, Davao City
  • Gen Malvar, Davao City.

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The Mindanao group of islands in southern Philippines has long been called as the country's "Promised Land" - albeit this is often said as a yet-fulfilled potential, instead of highlighting what the place now has to offer. We don't only believe it's wrong; we also strongly believe time to correct this and highlight everything about this place that is, indeed, a land full of promise. So here's... Mindanaw Magazine!

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